What happens after I have contacted the Centre?
We usually ask you to come along to the Centre so that we can show you the chamber and generally discuss your treatment.
We will ask you to speak to your GP giving consent to oxygen treatment. This is a precaution in case there is anything with your condition that may be affected by pressure.
If we are not one hundred per cent sure of any of your medication or condition, we consult Dr Petra Kliempt who is our consultant for the National Multiple Sclerosis Therapy Centres and also the NHS Specialist Trainer in Hyperbaric Medicine. She will then advise us on what a course of treatment to take.
What happens when I have a session in the Oxygen BaroChamber?
You will be asked to leave your car keys, cigarette lighters and ball point pens in the office for safe keeping. The pressurisation may harm certain items.
Once you are inside, the door is closed and the chamber is pressurised with Oxygen. You will be able to talk to a member of staff at all times during the treatment and staff will be able to see you.
You will hear a sound similar to that in an aircraft as the air begins to circulate.
It is necessary to ‘clear’ your ears as soon as the pressure begins to increase. You will be shown how to do this. Clearing your ears helps to equalise the pressure in them and prevent any pain in your eardrum.
When the pressure reaches the correct level, you will be asked to put on a mask to receive 100% oxygen. You will be able to relax, read, or listen to music and you can talk to staff that are operating the chamber if you need anything.
Near the end of the treatment the pressure in the chamber is slowly decreased. You may feel ‘popping’ in your ears during this time. After the decompression phase you can leave the chamber.
The length of each treatment varies on the depth of the treatment. It can last anywhere from 60 to 90 minutes at a time. We usually recommend an initial course of twenty sessions usually repeated over a number of days, or several weeks. The entire course should be completed for maximum benefit and then a top up session once a week or a fortnight to maintain the level of oxygen in your system.
We advise you to postpone a session if you have a severe cold or flu, runny nose or are generally feeling unwell. You should let the Centre know if you have any of these symptoms before starting a treatment session.
Possible side effects of Oxygen treatment
Oxygen treatment has few side effects. These are usually minor and short-lived. If you notice any other problems which you think may be due to the treatment, discuss them with the staff.
- Fatigue – you may experience tiredness after a treatment but the effect usually wears off after a few days once the treatment sessions are finished.
- Ear pain – before treatment you will be shown how to equalise the pressure in your ears, which can help to prevent any ear problems.
- Sinuses – the change in pressure may cause discomfort if you have congested sinuses, usually this can be controlled with decongestant medicine, but occasionally Oxygen therapy needs to be stopped.